Archive for the ‘Cycles’ Category

Quiet sun [image credit: NASA]


They picked an interesting time to study the Sun, as it starts to emerge from an unusually deep and long-lasting solar minimum. What effect this might have on Earth’s weather systems of course remains to be seen, but could be hard to quantify. The researchers have a lot of data to work through, and are hoping for ‘unprecedented insights into the sun’.
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Three of the Solar Orbiter spacecraft’s instruments, including Imperial’s magnetometer, have released their first data, reports Phys.org.

The European Space Agency’s Solar Orbiter spacecraft launched in February 2020 on its mission to study the sun and it began collecting science data in June.

Now, three of its ten instruments have released their first tranche of data, revealing the state of the sun in a ‘quiet’ phase.

The sun is known to follow an 11-year cycle of sunspot activity and is currently almost completely free of sunspots.

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Solar Cycle 25 is here, says NASA

Posted: September 17, 2020 by oldbrew in Cycles, News, solar system dynamics
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The Sun from NASA’s SDO spacecraft


Solar Cycle 25 has begun, according to this NASA press release.

During a media event on Tuesday, experts from NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) discussed their analysis and predictions about the new solar cycle – and how the coming upswing in space weather will impact our lives and technology on Earth, as well as astronauts in space.

The Solar Cycle 25 Prediction Panel, an international group of experts co-sponsored by NASA and NOAA, announced that solar minimum occurred in December 2019, marking the start of a new solar cycle.

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Which brings us back to the old conundrum: do cosmic rays affect the Earth’s weather / climate, and if so, how and how much?

Spaceweather.com

August 11, 2020: Cosmic rays are bad–and they’re probably going to get worse.

That’s the conclusion of a new study entitled “Galactic Cosmic Radiation in Interplanetary Space Through a Modern Secular Minimum” just published in the journal Space Weather.

“During the next solar cycle, we could see cosmic ray dose rates increase by as much as 75%,” says lead author Fatemeh Rahmanifard of the University of New Hampshire’s Space Science Center. “This will limit the amount of time astronauts can work safely in interplanetary space.”

spacewalk

Cosmic rays are the bane of astronauts. They come from deep space, energetic particles hurled in all directions by supernova explosions and other violent events. No amount of spacecraft shielding can stop the most energetic particles, leaving astronauts exposed whenever they leave the Earth-Moon system.

Back in the 1990s, astronauts could travel through space for as much as 1000 days before they…

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The Solar Minimum Superstorm of 1903

Posted: July 31, 2020 by oldbrew in Cycles, solar system dynamics
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A message from the past: “The timing of the storm interestingly parallels where we are now–near Solar Minimum just after a weak solar cycle.”

Spaceweather.com

July 29, 2020: Don’t let Solar Minimum fool you. The sun can throw a major tantrum even during the quiet phase of the 11-year solar cycle. That’s the conclusion of a new study published in the July 1st edition of the Astrophysical Journal Letters.

“In late October 1903, one of the strongest solar storms in modern history hit Earth,” say the lead authors of the study,  Hisashi Hayakawa (Osaka University, Japan) and Paulo Ribeiro (Coimbra University, Portugal). “The timing of the storm interestingly parallels where we are now–near Solar Minimum just after a weak solar cycle.”

redlineAbove: The red line marks the 1903 solar superstorm in a plot of the 11-year solar cycle. [ref] The 1903 event wasn’t always recognized as a great storm. Hayakawa and colleagues took an interest in it because of what happened when the storm hit. In magnetic observatories around the world, pens…

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We’ll look here at examples of where a 2400 year period has been identified by researchers in radiocarbon data.
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Part of the abstract below is highlighted for analysis. The original Talkshop post on the paper in question:
S. S. Vasiliev and V. A. Dergachev: 2400-year cycle in atmospheric radiocarbon concentration

Abstract. We have carried out power spectrum, time-spectrum and bispectrum analyses of the long-term series of the radiocarbon concentrations deduced from measurements of the radiocarbon content in tree rings for the last 8000 years. Classical harmonic analysis of this time series shows a number of periods: 2400, 940, 710, 570, 500, 420, 360, 230, 210 and 190 years. A principle feature of the time series is the long period of ~ 2400 years, which is well known. The lines with periods of 710, 420 and 210 years are found to be the primary secular components of power spectrum. The complicated structure of the observed power spectrum is the result of ~ 2400-year modulation of primary secular components. The modulation induces the appearance of two side lines for every primary one, namely lines with periods of 940 and 570 years, of 500 and 360 years, and 230 and 190 years. The bi-spectral analysis shows that the parameters of carbon exchange system varied with the ~ 2400-year period during the last 8000 years. Variations of these parameters appear to be a climate effect on the rate of transfer of 14C between the atmosphere and the the ocean.

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Solar Cycle Update

Posted: July 15, 2020 by oldbrew in Cycles, Solar physics
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SC 25 – are we nearly there yet?

Spaceweather.com

July 14, 2020: NOAA has released a new interactive tool to explore the solar cycle. It lets you scroll back through time, comparing sunspot counts now to peaks and valleys of the past. One thing is clear. Solar Minimum is here, and it’s one of the deepest in a century.

progression

Solar Minimum is a natural part of the solar cycle. Every ~11 years, the sun transitions from high to low activity and back again. Solar Maximum. Solar Minimum. Repeat. The cycle was discovered in 1843 by Samuel Heinrich Schwabe, who noticed the pattern after counting sunspots for 17 years. We are now exiting Solar Cycle 24 and entering Solar Cycle 25.

During Solar Minimum, the sun is usually blank–that is, without sunspots. The solar disk often looks like a big orange billiard ball:

hmi1898 The spotless sun on July 13, 2020

In 2019, the sun went 281 days without sunspots, and…

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Image credit: Tallbloke

A few days ago I tweeted this comment above some remarkable video of the Three Gorges Dam bypass sluices.

Among other people, this was picked up by Willis, the warmist at WUWT, who used it as an opportunity to attack the reality of the Sun-climate connection:

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Ionized gas inside the Sun moves toward the poles near the surface and toward the equator at the base of the convection zone (at a depth of 200,000 km/125,000 miles).
Credit: MPS (Z.-C. Liang)


The title of the study cited in this report gives us the clue: ‘Meridional flow in the Sun’s convection zone is a single cell in each hemisphere’. The full cycle takes about 22 years on average, with a magnetic reversal halfway through.
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The sun’s magnetic activity follows an 11-year cycle. Over the course of a solar cycle, the sun’s magnetic activity comes and goes, says Phys.org.

During solar maximum, large sunspots and active regions appear on the sun’s surface. Spectacular loops of hot plasma stretch throughout the sun’s atmosphere and eruptions of particles and radiation shoot into interplanetary space.

During solar minimum, the sun calms down considerably. A striking regularity appears in the so-called butterfly diagram, which describes the position of sunspots in a time-latitude plot.

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Sunspots [image credit: NASA]


The researchers’ sun clock looks like this.
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Extreme space weather events can significantly impact systems such as satellites, communications systems, power distribution and aviation, says a Warwick University press release.

They are driven by solar activity which is known to have an irregular but roughly 11 year cycle.

By devising a new, regular ‘sun clock’, researchers have found that the switch on and off of periods of high solar activity is quite sharp, and are able to determine the switch on/off times.

Their analysis shows that whilst extreme events can happen at any time, they are much less likely to occur in the quiet interval.

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The Sun’s 11 year cycle is the most well known among many others we’ll cover in this series.

Now we’ve entered the minimum between solar cycles 24 and 25, this seems like a good moment to recap what we’ve discovered about the Sun and the planetary system that revolves around it here on the Talkshop during the last decade. The idea that the Sun’s activity cycles were somehow linked to the motion of the planets didn’t begin here of course. In fact, the idea goes all the way back to Rudolf Wolf, the Swiss astronomer who in the 1800s collated the old, and continued adding new sunspot observations. He was convinced that the orbit of Jupiter modulated sunspot numbers.

Wolf was an admirer of the work of Heinrich Schwabe, who was the first to discover an approximately decadal cyclic variation in sunspot numbers. Wolf refined and extended the observations and found that while some solar cycles were a little over ten years long, others were much closer to Jupiter’s orbital period of just under twelve years. The long term average was found to be around 11.1 years.

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Two Solar Cycles Active at Once

Posted: April 28, 2020 by oldbrew in Cycles, solar system dynamics
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Cycle 25 preparing to topple Cycle 24.

Spaceweather.com

April 27, 2020: Today, there are two sunspots in the sun’s southern hemisphere. Their magnetic polarity reveals something interesting: They come from different solar cycles. Take a look at this magnetic map of the sun’s surface (with sunspots inset) from NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory:

latest_4096_HMIBC_labelled_crop

One sunspot (AR2760) belongs to old Solar Cycle 24, while the other (AR2761) belongs to new Solar Cycle 25. We know this because of Hale’s polarity law. AR2760 is +/- while AR2761 is -/+, reversed signs that mark them as belonging to different cycles.

This is actually normal. Solar cycles always overlap at their boundaries, sprinkling Solar Minimum with a mixture of old- and new-cycle sunspots. Sometimes, like today, they pop up simultaneously. We might see more such combinations in the months ahead as we slowly grind our way through one of the deepest Solar Minima in a century.

The simultaneous appearance of two solar…

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The Saros cycle by numbers

Posted: April 14, 2020 by oldbrew in Analysis, Cycles, data, moon


The basis for discussion is the abstract of the paper below. Instead of their ‘high-integer near commensurabilities among lunar months’ we’ll just say ‘numbers’ and try to make everything as straightforward as possible. This will expand on a previous Talkshop post on much the same topic.

Hunting for Periodic Orbits Close to that of the Moon in the Restricted Circular Three-Body Problem (1995)
Authors: G. B. Valsecchi, E. PerozziA, E. Roy, A. Steves

Abstract
The role of high-integer near commensurabilities among lunar months — like the long known Saros cycle — in the dynamics of the Moon has been examined in previous papers (Perozzi et al., 1991; Roy et al., 1991; Steves et al., 1993). A by-product of this study has been the discovery that the lunar orbit is very close to a set of 8 long-period periodic orbits of the restricted circular 3-dimensional Sun-Earth-Moon problem in which also the secular motion of the argument of perigee ω is involved (Valsecchi et al., 1993a). In each of these periodic orbits 223 synodic months are equal to 239 anomalistic and 242 nodical ones, a relationship that approximately holds in the case of the observed Saros cycle, and the various orbits differ from each other for the initial phases. Note that these integer ratios imply that, in one cycle of the periodic orbit, the argument of perigee ω makes exactly 3 revolutions, i.e. the difference between the 242 nodical and the 239 anomalistic months (these two months differ from each other just for the prograde rotation of ω).
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To start with we can create a model that pretends the ‘high-integer near commensurabilities’ really are whole numbers, then break down the logic of the result to see what’s going in with the Moon at the period of one Saros cycle.

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H/T The GWPF

Dr David Whitehouse reviews the history of solar cycle predictions in a new paper by the Global Warming Policy Foundation which is published today. The paper, entitled The Next Solar Cycle, And Why It Matters For Climate, can be downloaded here.
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London, 6 April: A former BBC science correspondent says that there remains a real possibility that unusual solar behaviour could influence the Earth’s climate, bringing cooler temperatures for the next decade.

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Encylopaedia Britannica on the Metonic cycle:

Metonic cycle, in chronology, a period of 19 years in which there are 235 lunations, or synodic months, after which the Moon’s phases recur on the same days of the solar year, or year of the seasons. The cycle was discovered by Meton (fl. 432 bc), an Athenian astronomer.

Calendar Wiki’s opening paragraphs on the Metonic cycle say:

The Metonic cycle or Enneadecaeteris in astronomy and calendar studies is a particular approximate common multiple of the year (specifically, the seasonal i.e. tropical year) and the synodic month. Nineteen tropical years differ from 235 synodic months by about 2 hours. The Metonic cycle’s error is one full day every 219 years, or 12.4 parts per million.

19 tropical years = 6939.602 days
235 synodic months = 6939.688 days

It is helpful to recognize that this is an approximation of reality.

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Variation in solar activity during a recent sunspot cycle [credit: Wikipedia]


This seems worth another airing in the face of today’s insistent, but evidence-light, claims from climate obsessives that the world’s present and future weather is going to be largely determined by human activities.

If the energy from the sun varies by only 0.1 percent during the 11-year solar cycle, could such a small variation drive major changes in weather patterns on Earth? – asks Universe Today.

Yes, say researchers from the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) who used more than a century of weather observations and three powerful computer models in their study.

They found subtle connections between solar cycle, the stratosphere, and the tropical Pacific Ocean that work in sync to generate periodic weather patterns that affect much of the globe.

Scientists say this will help in predicting the intensity of certain climate phenomena, such as the Indian monsoon and tropical Pacific rainfall, years in advance.

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Greenland ice sheet (east coast) [image credit: Hannes Grobe @ Wikipedia]


Of course the other question about the start of an ice age still remains.

New University of Melbourne research has revealed that ice ages over the last million years ended when the tilt angle of the Earth’s axis was approaching higher values, reports Phys.org.

During these times, longer and stronger summers melted the large Northern Hemisphere ice sheets, propelling the Earth’s climate into a warm ‘interglacial’ state, like the one we’ve experienced over the last 11,000 years.

The study by Ph.D. candidate, Petra Bajo, and colleagues also showed that summer energy levels at the time these ‘ice-age terminations’ were triggered controlled how long it took for the ice sheets to collapse, with higher energy levels producing fast collapse.

Researchers are still trying to understand how often these periods happen and how soon we can expect another one.

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Wikipedia says:

Dansgaard–Oeschger events (often abbreviated D–O events) are rapid climate fluctuations that occurred 25 times during the last glacial period. Some scientists say that the events occur quasi-periodically with a recurrence time being a multiple of 1,470 years, but this is debated. —

The 25 occurrences of 1470 years are represented in this synodic chart posted in the comments of our 2018 blog post:
Possible origin of Dansgaard-Oeschger abrupt climate events.

Re. the ‘debate’, let’s take a line from this paper:
On the 1470-year pacing of Dansgaard-Oeschger warm events
Michael Schulz
First published: 01 May 2002
Citations: 99
‘a fundamental pacing period of ~1470 years seems to control the timing of the onset of the Dansgaard-Oeschger events.’

Another study: Timing of abrupt climate change: A precise clock
Stefan Rahmstorf
First published: 21 May 2003

An analysis of the GISP2 ice core record from Greenland reveals that abrupt climate events appear to be paced by a 1,470-year cycle with a period that is probably stable to within a few percent; with 95% confidence the period is maintained to better than 12% over at least 23 cycles. This highly precise clock points to an origin outside the Earth system; oscillatory modes within the Earth system can be expected to be far more irregular in period.

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However, researchers often admit defeat when looking for a viable mechanism to explain its regularity, or just say there isn’t one to date.

Kepler’s trigon – the orientation of consecutive Jupiter-Saturn synodic periods, showing the repeating triangular shape (trigon).


Returning to the synodics chart, a relevant number doesn’t appear in it. The Jupiter-Saturn conjunction of 19.865~ years is an important period in the solar system, and it returns to almost the same position after every three occurrences, as Johannes Kepler noted with his ‘trigon’, centuries ago.

We can work out the rate of movement per conjunction in degrees:
360 – ((360 / S) * J-S) = 117.147 degrees
(360 / 117.147) * J-S = 61.046482y (‘JS-360’)
[Data: https://ssd.jpl.nasa.gov/?planet_phys_par ]

Then, from the chart:
1470*25 / ‘JS-360’ = 602.00029
Check: (602*360) / 117.147 = 1849.983 (1850 J-S, see chart)
Since ‘JS-360’ is almost exactly a whole number (602), the Jupiter-Saturn conjunction should be in its original position at the end of the 25 D-O cycles.

Adding 602 to the orbits of each planet = multiples of 25:
223(N) + 602 = 825 (25*33) = 1850-1025(S-N)
[33 = 74-41]
1248(S) + 602 = 1850 (25*74)
3098(J) + 602 = 3700 (25*74*2)

Another way to get multiples of 25:
Add 2 to each orbit number (see chart), and subtract 2 from 602.

More on the 602 number:
602 = 14*43
14*61.046482y = 854.651y
43 J-S = 854.197y
These two results are only about half a year apart, and we find:
43*43 = 1849 J-S
Add 1 = 1850 J-S completing the 25 D-O cycle.

43*61.046482y = 2625 years (2624.9987)
1470:2625 = 14:25 ratio
1470*25 = 2625*14 (hence 602 of ‘JS-360’ = 14*43)

Obliquity note:
28 D-O = 41160 years, a fair match to the expected 41 kyr period.
One paper refers to a fit between D-O and obliquity.
Others support the notion of a link — possibly a topic for another post.
(28*25*1470 = 1,029,000 years)

Example of a 1470 year period from Arnholm’s solar simulator — click on image to enlarge:

Showing Neptune, Jupiter, Saturn and Earth.
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Another one — Jupiter, Neptune, Saturn

Image credit: beforeitsnews.com

The aim here is to show how the synodic periods and orbits of these three planets align with the so-called Grand Synod, a period of about 4628 years which has 27 Uranus-Neptune conjunctions and almost 233 Jupiter-Saturn conjunctions. Its half-period is sometimes referred to as the Hallstatt cycle (2314 years +/- a variable margin).

1. U-N ‘long period’
1420 Uranus-Neptune conjunctions = 1477 Neptune orbits
(for calculations, see Footnote)
1477 – 1420 = 57
Uranus-Neptune 360 degrees return is 1420/57 U-N = 24.91228 U-N long period = 4270.119 years

2. GS : U-N ratio
Grand Synod = 27 U-N = 4627.967 years (= ~233 Jupiter-Saturn conjunctions)
27 / 24.91228 = 1.0838028
1.0838028 * 12 = 13.005633
Therefore the ratio of 4627.967:4270.119 is almost exactly 13:12 (> 99.956% true)

3. Orbital data
Turning to the orbit periods nearest to the Grand Synod:
28 Neptune = 4614.157y
55 Uranus = 4620.927y
(Data: https://ssd.jpl.nasa.gov/?planet_phys_par )

4. Factor of 12
These periods fall slightly short of the 27 U-N Grand Synod (~4628 years).
However, multiplying by 12 and adding one orbit to each, gives:
28*12,+1 (337) Neptune = 55534.67y
55*12,+1 (661) Uranus = 55535.14y
27*12 (661 – 337) U-N = 55535.61y

Now the numbers match to within a year +/- 55535 years.
Also, the period is 12 Grand Synods (12*4628 = 55536y), or 13 U-N ‘long’ periods.

5. Pluto data
Pluto’s orbit period is 247.92065 years.
55535 / 247.92065y = 224.003
So 224 Pluto orbits also equate to 12 Grand Synods.


Therefore, a U-N-P synodic chart can be created for that period of time.

6. Neptune:Pluto orbits
Neptune has one more orbit in the period than an exact 3:2 ratio with Pluto – a planetary resonance.
224 P = 112*2
337 N = 112*3, +1
113 N-P = 112, +1

7. Phi factor
Uranus and Neptune both have one more orbit than this ratio:
660:336 = (55*12):(21*16)
55/21 = Phi²
12/16 = 3/4
Therefore the U:N ratio is almost (3/4 of Phi²):1

The U-N-P chart should repeat every 12 Grand synods i.e. every 55,535 years or so.
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Footnote
360 / Neptune orbit (164.79132) = 2.184581
2.184581 * U-N conjunction (171.40619) = 374.4507
374.4507 – 360 = 14.4507

Obtain nearest multiple of 360 degrees:
1420 * 14.4507 = 20519.9994
20520 / 360 = 57
1420 + 57 = 1477
1420 U-N = 1477 Neptune orbits
1420 + 1477 = 2897 Uranus orbits









Solar system [credit: BBC]

This new paper from our good friend Nicola Scafetta takes another look at the Sun’s cyclic behaviour and possible planetary influences on it, referencing various researchers whose work has appeared at the talkshop, along the way.
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Abstract
Gravitational planetary lensing of slow-moving matter streaming towards the Sun was suggested to explain puzzling solar-flare occurrences and other unexplained solar-emission phenomena (Bertolucci et al. in Phys. Dark Universe 17, 13, 2017). If it is actually so, the effect of gravitational lensing of this stream by heavy planets (Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune) could be manifested in solar activity changes on longer time scales too where solar records present specific oscillations known in the literature as the cycles of Bray–Hallstatt (2100–2500 yr), Eddy (800–1200 yr), Suess–de Vries (200–250 yr), Jose (155–185 yr), Gleissberg (80–100 year), the 55–65 yr spectral cluster and others. It is herein hypothesized that these oscillations emerge from specific periodic planetary orbital configurations that generate particular waves in the force-fields of the heliosphere which could be able to synchronize solar activity.

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ISSN 1063-7737, Astronomy Letters, 2019, Vol. 45, No. 11, pp. 778–790.c Pleiades Publishing, Inc., 2019. Nicola Scafetta1*,FrancoMilani2, and Antonio Bianchini3, 41Department of Earth Sciences, Environment and Georesources, University of Naples Federico II,Complesso Universitario di Monte S. Angelo, via Cinthia, 21, 80126 Naples, Italy 2 Astronomical Association Euganea, via N. Tommaseo, 70, 35137 Padova, Italy3INAF, Osservatorio Astronomico di Padova, Vicolo dell’Osservatorio 5, I-35122 Padova, Italy 4 Department of Physics and Astronomy, Universit `a degli Studi di Padova, via Marzolo 8, 35131 Padova, Italy Received May 18, 2019; revised October 2, 2019; accepted October 23, 2019

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